Non-Roster Shop CEA Wins Ticket to SeaWorld

Campbell-Ewald Ad vertising used a humorous video of its employees visiting SeaWorld and being splashed by Shamu the killer whale as part of its successful pitch for the Busch Entertainment parks’ $10-15 million account.

The Warren, Mich., agency beat out Anheuser-Busch roster shop DDB Chicago for the assignment, which was formerly at GSD&M in Austin, Texas.

CEA “spent time with each park’s marketing vice president and, with our permission, talked to guests about what was needed to make the water parks better,” said Michael LaBroad, Busch Entertainment’s vice president of corporate branding.

A-B’s theme-park division chose CEA after a search for creative ideas from roster shops and outside agencies [Adweek, Feb. 18]. CEA was previously not an A-B roster shop.

A fourth-quarter campaign from CEA is planned.

Other agencies pitching the account included GSD&M along with Way lon Ad and Momentum, both in St. Louis, Peterson Milla Hooks and Martin Williams, both in Minneapolis, LaBroad said.

Busch Entertainment was looking for an agency that understood how competitive its ad category is, said Jim Palmer, CEA’s co-president and managing director. CEA put together a diverse pitch team, and LaBroad said he was impressed with how the team members worked together.

“I did not get the impression that a senior person’s idea out- ranked a junior person’s during the presentation,” LaBroad said.

In 2000, A-B realigned assignments for its theme parks between DDB and GSD&M. DDB handled Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove, Sesame Place, Water Country USA and Adventure Island, while the Texas agency received all the SeaWorld business.